Julia Trefry with husband Dick

Julia Trefry with husband Dick

Penticton woman says her uncle took down the Red Baron

Although the demise of the Red Baron on April 21,1918 over France is somewhat controversial there is definitely a Penticton connection.

In the First World War Manfred von Richthofen was the scourge of the sky and the terror on your tail in a dog fight.

Although the demise of the Red Baron on April 21,1918 over France is somewhat controversial there is definitely a Penticton connection.

Julia Trefry is the niece of Canadian Capt. Roy Brown who is believed by many to have fired the bullet which struck Richthofen forcing him to land and eventually claiming his life.

While she knew that both Roy and his brother Horace were in the war she didn’t learn about Roy’s claim to fame until later in life.

“I found out that he shot down Baron von Richthofen and uncle Roy had about 12 victories and I think the Baron had 82 victories,” said Julia, who now lives in Penticton with her husband Dick.  “Unfortunately I never did get a chance to meet him but they’ve got a new monument for him in Carleton Place (Ontario) where he was born.

“It really is exciting and wonderful and somehow I feel important, but I’m not the important one, but it makes me feel good.”

Julia always gets a kick from people’s reactions when she tells them it was her uncle who ended the Red Baron’s path of destruction.

Her father Howard, who died several years ago at the age of 97, wrote a book about his brother and described him as athletic although Roy never spoke much about his military career even in his letters home during the fighting.

Brown died in 1944 at the age of 50. His niece is not sure what caused his death but believes it likely had to do with the many injuries he suffered during the war.

“He got hurt quite badly during those years,” said Trefry.

Historic reports indicate Richthofen was pursuing another young Canadian pilot in a Sopwith Camel at a low altitude when Brown intervened.

Brown reportedly did a steep dive towards the two aircraft, firing at the Baron repeatedly before having to pull up sharply to avoid hitting the ground.

Trefry has attended Remembrance Day services since she was a child and still goes as often as she can with her husband.

“It’s important for people to attend the services so they can remember things like what my uncle Roy did and so they never forget the people in the war, that they gave their lives for us,” she said.

Just Posted

The Eyes of the Tigers on the 2021 Beer Rune on June 19. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton Beer Runners take trip around local beaches and brews

Over 160 people signed up to come back after the 2020 run was cancelled

There was high voter turnout for the first of three advance voting days for the Penticton city by-election.
Penticton city by-election general voting day is today, June 19

737 voters on June 9 in comparison to 2018 general election, which had 1,001 on first day

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 Penticton-area men charged with Kamloops brothers’ double homicide

Brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May in Naramata

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Starting in 2022, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District is extending dog control to the entire Electoral Area D. (Stock photo)
Dog control bylaw passes in Shuswap area despite ‘threatening’ emails

CSRD board extending full dog control in Electoral Area D starting next year

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read